Sun teams up with Bono to fight poverty in Africa

28 Feb 2005

Sun Microsystems is to help Bono to electronically enlist people into the One Campaign, a non-profit initiative launched by the singer and social activist to raise the voices of citizens to combat AIDS and poverty in Africa. This opportunity and the offer to make it a reality was part of a wish granted to Bono as a recipient of the inaugural Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Prize.

Individuals will be able to join the campaign by simply sending a text message from their mobile phone or any other Java-powered device. The service will be enabled by a Sun Microsystems-powered platform using participation and technologies from Voxiva.

The text message will be a “first kiss” establishing a link between the individual and the One Campaign at Enrolment is confirmed with an email and a new ringtone is also offered from the site. The aimed result will be hundreds of thousands of voices being added to petitions for change in government policies that address these critical health and economic issues.

The TED conference is an annual four-day event that brings together more than 800 thought leaders, movers and shakers to demonstrate and discuss the latest ideas in technology, business, entertainment, design, science and the arts.

The inaugural TED prize has been awarded to musician Bono, Canadian photo-artist Edward Burtynsky and medical technologies pioneer Robert Fischell. Each recipient has been granted “three wishes”. Many members of the TED community and a group of world-class companies have pledged support to help fulfill these wishes. Each winner will also receive US$100k to be spent however they choose in support of their wishes.

“The TED prize is a remarkable award that gives ordinary people the opportunity to join in extraordinary endeavours,” said John Gage, chief researcher at Sun Microsystems. “Bono’s wish is immediate and doable. When you have this many good people and technology that is within everyone’s reach, it changes things. Something great is going to happen.”

By John Kennedy